1 Paul, Silvanus and Timothy, to the Church in Thessalonica which is in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
2 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We must always thank God for you, brothers; quite rightly, because your faith is growing so wonderfully and the mutual love that each one of you has for all never stops increasing.
4 Among the churches of God we take special pride in you for your perseverance and faith under all the persecutions and hardships you have to bear.
5 It all shows that God’s judgement is just, so that you may be found worthy of the kingdom of God; it is for the sake of this that you are suffering now.
11 In view of this we also pray continually that our God will make you worthy of his call, and by his power fulfil all your desires for goodness, and complete all that you have been doing through faith;
12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you and you in him, by the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 96:1-2, 2-3, 4-5
1 Sing a new song to Yahweh! Sing to Yahweh, all the earth!
2 Sing to Yahweh, bless his name! Proclaim his salvation day after day,
3 declare his glory among the nations, his marvels to every people!
4 Great is Yahweh, worthy of all praise, more awesome than any of the gods.
5 All the gods of the nations are idols! It was Yahweh who made the heavens;
Gospel, Matthew 23:13-22
13 ‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut up the kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces, neither going in yourselves nor allowing others to go who want to.
15 ‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over sea and land to make a single proselyte, and anyone who becomes one you make twice as fit for hell as you are.
16 ‘Alas for you, blind guides! You say, “If anyone swears by the Temple, it has no force; but anyone who swears by the gold of the Temple is bound.”
17 Fools and blind! For which is of greater value, the gold or the Temple that makes the gold sacred?
18 Again, “If anyone swears by the altar it has no force; but anyone who swears by the offering on the altar, is bound.”
19 You blind men! For which is of greater worth, the offering or the altar that makes the offering sacred?
20 Therefore, someone who swears by the altar is swearing by that and by everything on it.
21 And someone who swears by the Temple is swearing by that and by the One who dwells in it.
22 And someone who swears by heaven is swearing by the throne of God and by the One who is seated there.